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17 How. J. Penology & Crime Prevention 1 (1978)

handle is hein.journals/hjcj17 and id is 1 raw text is: 









League Leader


(A column  of individual comments on current issues contributed by the
Director of the Howard  League  for Penal Reform, by members   of the
Council of the League, or by the Editor of the Howard Journal.)

The Howard   Journal
  Two   innovations appear  in this issue, the first in our new  and
welcome   partnership with  the Scottish  Academic  Press. The   first
innovation is the advent of a correspondence column  in which readers
may  comment   on  matters of contemporary  penal  concern (including
comments   on articles in previous issues, or on other Howard League
publications). We hope the column  will become a regular, and not just
an occasional feature: but in this respect we are in readers' hands.
  The  second innovation is this column itself. Since the Editorship was
separated from  the Howard  League  executive staff in 1975, the Editor
has  been conscious of the possible criticism that the Journal is now
insufficiently linked to the League. That criticism can be overstated:
the Journal is of no service to its readers unless it prints articles and
book  reviews of high standard, from whatever  source, and this it will
continue to do.  Yet the Journal obviously has, and must  continue to
have, a special relationship with the Howard League for Penal Reform.
To  reflect this more adequately, the Editor has suggested that the bulk
of the initial editorial comment should in future be contributed by the
League,  and not by himself. This suggestion has been welcomed by the
League,  and  the  new  policy begins with this issue. To  reflect the
change, the title of the column has been altered appropriately.

The  Future of the Probation Service
   The Probation  Service is once again in a mood  for self-doubt and
self-questioning. Probation orders are declining as a proportion of all
court  sentences; and probationers now  constitute a minority among
probation  officers' caseloads (conversely, after-care and parole cases
show   a continual  increase). There has  been  an  expansion in  the
hierarchical structure of the senior grades, and an increasing sense of
Home   Office control: this and other things have provoked a revolt from
radical members  of the so-called N.M.A.G. (N.A.P.O. Members'  Action
Group).   Most  importantly  of all, the  belief in treatment  and
rehabilitation as the centre of the Service's activity has begun to
erode  in the face of empirical  demonstrations of lack  of treatment
effectiveness, and theoretical critiques of the clinical model on which
probation casework  has been largely based in the post-war period.
   Hitherto, there has not been  much  evidence of really constructive
thinking -  either in the Home Office or amongst the Probation Service
leadership -  about the future shape of the Service. It is therefore with
pleasure  that we  publish two  very thoughtful contributions on this
theme   by  serving  Chief Probation   Officers, together with  some
interesting reflections on the situation in Scotland ten years after the


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